Holiday rentals in Canary Islands
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Your guide to Canary Islands
Welcome to the Canary Islands
Warm and sunny all year round, this archipelago off the northwestern coast of Africa offers a world of earthly, and unearthly, delights. Four of its seven islands — Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, and La Palma — have been declared biosphere reserves, and its volcanic rock has fostered a kaleidoscope of natural wonders, from teeming subtropical forests to desert cacti and dramatic peaks to the beaches of golden, white, red, and even black sands that have made the Canaries such a popular tourist destination. Step away from the seaside resorts and you will find a wealth of heritage in towns like Orotava, La Laguna, and Vegueta, which combine Spanish and Moorish influences, while traces of the islands’ Aboriginal inhabitants have been found dating to the 10th century BCE. But what will stay with you longest are the extraterrestrial landscapes: the red Martian plains and black lunar dunes that seem to have deposited you on another planet entirely.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Canary Islands
The southerly location and subtropical climate of the Canary Islands mean that there’s really no bad time to visit — temperatures rarely drop below comfortable T-shirt weather. Peak seasons are summer and winter, when Europeans come to escape the cold, so spring and autumn are both good options for avoiding the crowds. Speaking of crowds, expect plenty in February, when the Canaries host the world’s third-largest Carnival, with the main celebrations taking place on Tenerife. There’s also a popular music festival that takes place across the archipelago in January and February, while a number of traditional fiestas and holy days, such as Semana Santa and Corpus Christi, liven up the springtime. The Fiesta de San Andrés, which takes place in November, is also a big deal in Tenerife.
Top things to do in Canary Islands
Spain’s tallest mountain, and the third highest volcano in the world, makes a stark silhouette in the middle of Tenerife, surrounded by miles of flat lava fields. If you don’t feel like climbing the full 3,715 metres to its peak, a cable car will take you to the top, offering views across the Atlantic and even to the other islands along the journey.
Gran Canaria’s liveliest beach, at the southern tip of the island, is lined with restaurants and all manner of entertainment. It’s also backed by a huge bank of sand dunes that spans 1,000 acres, which is now a natural reserve with otherworldly vistas across its ever-changing landscape.
Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente
A vast pine forest, enclosed within a volcanic crater, sits at the centre of La Palma, earning it the nickname La Isla Bonita. Water streams from springs and crystal-clear waterfalls, cutting fabulous shapes into the rocks around it, while trees cling impossibly to the eroded hillsides. This is hiking at its most atmospheric.